I suffer from a form of paralysis that lies in wait until I go out looking for presents and then turns me into a frozen fool.
It’s a male genetic disorder, and has two varieties, as you probably know: the acute sort that affects men when they have to go out looking for that one special present, and the chronic variety that renders men quadriplegic and mentally deficient when they have to buy any present at all, for any reason. This is the non-specific and more virulent form of the illness, and the one I suffer from.
I’m not stingy, and I never have been. I don’t mind what a present is going to cost as long as I have the money to cover it, and in fact, if you showed me something on a shelf and told me that was exactly what I should get, I wouldn’t even ask the price. I’d say, Thanks be to Jesus, here’s the credit card, take what you want, great, no more shopping, and I’d head for a relaxing pint.
You see, like all men, I hate shopping. Hate it. Hate. Fucking hate it. But Christmas shopping hurts a special, secret, remote part of my brain, a pain centre that only men possess. Doctors call it the Aaaaaaaarrrrgggghhhh-Fuck-Bollix Nucleus, which is the part of the brain that governs uncontrollable twitching and an irrational need to get inside a pub without delay.
I don’t understand these fuckers who buy all their presents for next year in the January sales. I don’t get it. I think they’re sad. Organised, yes, and sensible, and stress-free, and more thrifty, and relaxed. In fact, no. I don’t think they’re sad. I think they’re a crowd of bastards. I fucking hate them.
This year, just like all the others, I’ll go out in a panic on Christmas Eve, and spend a fortune on utterly inappropriate presents that nobody will want anyway. Then I’ll forget to buy paper and little cards and I’ll have to go begging them from someone, and then I’ll have to find a pen, and I’ll make a complete shit of wrapping the presents and they’ll all end up looking like badly-healed blast injuries.
I’m getting better though. There was a time when I got in such a panic, I used to pick up the first thing I saw. That’ll do Granny. And that’ll be great for the baby.
Great, says Granny. A replica machine-gun. Just what I wanted.
You’re welcome, Gran.
But, I was just thinking ..?
Well, the baby is only six months old. Isn’t he a bit young to smoke?